How to Hang Wallpaper

A simple guide to hanging all types of wallpaper in your home

Once you've prepared your walls by [removing old wallpaper] and have [measured up] - it's time to get creative! Wallpaper adds a new dimension and allows you to totally transform the whole look and feel of your room. You can go wild with all of the designs available and can even get creative with where you put it. If you're feeling really bold, why not consider your fifth wall too? We love a wallpapered ceiling and it so often gets overlooked. The best interiors are always surprising, unique ones. Whether you are looking for contemporary or traditional wallpaper designs - our extensive wallpaper collection has something for everybody!

If you're still undecided about how you'd like to decorate your walls, check out our sneak peek into Chapter 3 of our first book. In this chapter, we explore walls and ceilings and the steps you can take to make difficult decorating a thing of the past.

How to Hang Wallpaper - Before You Begin

Read our wallpaper measuring guide before you begin to ensure you have the right quantity of wallpaper you need. If you've purchased your wallpaper from us then use our online guide to check what type of paste you need to use. If you've chosen 'paste the wall' wallpaper then you won't need a pasting table and the whole process will be much quicker. Better still, you may even have chosen self-adhesive wallpaper (great for renters) which can be less forgiving, but very simple to do. Refer to the manufacturer's instructions for more info on how to hang self-adhesive wallpaper. Our guide below uses the paste the wall method but Step 2 can simply be applied the wallpaper instead of the wall.

If your walls have any issues or staining you may want to use lining paper underneath your wallpaper to give a better end finish. If you have any fixings or sockets on your the walls, now is the time to loosen or remove these. Clear the room and move any remaining items to the centre of the room and cover with a dust sheet. Walls must be dry and clean before you start. If you're wallpapering onto wood or plasterboard, make sure you have primed the surface first.

You will need:

  • Step ladder
  • Pencil
  • Spirit level
  • Scissors
  • Scalpel or craft knife
  • Metal ruler
  • Pasting brush/roller
  • Wallpaper smoother
  • Clean sponge or cloth
  • Wallpaper paste
  • Your wallpaper (ensure the rolls are from the same batch before opening!)

For how to hang textured or patterned wallpaper, follow this guide paying careful attention to matching up your pattern or texture.

How to Hang Wallpaper - Paste The Wall

Step 1

If you have purchased a standard roll of a wallpaper at 53 cm wide, start by measuring out 50 cm from the corner of your room. Do this at the top of the wall and using a spirit level to guide you, draw a line down the wall to the bottom. This will provide you with a guide to start wallpapering and avoid any messy corners (we'll get to that later).

Step 2

Paste the wall with a thin, even layer of your wallpaper paste mixture approximately to the width of your roll and to the bottom of the wall.

Step 3

Next, place your opened roll of wallpaper on the floor at the bottom of your pasted section and unroll with the backing facing the wall. Using your step ladder, the end of the roll to the top of the wall leaving 2-3 cm on the ceiling to allow for trimming. Lightly press onto the wall to hold but not fix the wallpaper. Make sure you have lined the paper up to the pencil mark you have made on the wall and follow this down the wall lightly pressing as you move down. You should be able to manoeuvre the wallpaper if you go slightly off your guideline.

Step 4

Using your scissors, cut the roll across the bottom leaving approx 2-3 cm for trimming.

Step 5

Once you are happy that the wallpaper is in line with your guide, you are ready to fix it in place. Use your wallpaper smoother to press and smooth the wallpaper from the centre to the edge. This motion should eliminate any air bubbles, but if you get any, try to work them out to the edges. If you notice the wallpaper has moved from your guide you should be able to peel it back from the wall and reposition it.

Step 6

Trim off the excess at the top and bottom of your wallpaper section using your scalpel and metal ruler.

Step 7

Paste the next section of your wall and repeat the process while lining up your wallpaper to meet the edge of your first panel. If you have patterned or textured wallpaper, make sure you have lined it up correctly before fixing and smoothing the panel to the wall. You may want to use a seam roller to flatten the joins between each piece.

A guide to wallpapering your home

Image: The home of Jane Rockett as featured in 'Extraordinary Interiors' by Jane Rockett & Lucy St George. Published by Ryland Peters & Small. Photography by Debi Treloar. For a similar Snakeskin Wallpaper see our Rockett St George Sexy Snakeskin Wallpaper

Top Tips

When you come to pasting around windows or doors, keep your scissors handy. Follow the same process as above but cut the wallpaper to allow you to press the wallpaper against the wall and into the crease of the window or door frame. As you would at the top and bottom of the wallpaper, leave a slight excess so that you can trim this back neatly once the wallpaper if fixed in place.

If you are able to remove radiators from the wall we recommend that you do to get a better finish. But if this isn't possible you can cut around and use a dry small roller with a long handle to press it against the wall in any hard to reach areas.

To hang wallpaper in corners, always try to wallpaper into and around the corner rather than up to it. A join in the corner of the wall is very hard to match up and your walls may not be completely straight. By following step 1 in this guide you should be left with a 3 cm over-hang on to the adjoining wall. If you only want to wallpaper one 'feature' wall then follow the same step but use your metal ruler and scalpel to cut the wallpaper into the corner to ensure you get a crisp edge that matches your wall.


Discover more wallpaper ideas on our Pinterest board Magical Murals, Chinoiserie Day Dream, and Wallpaper Wonders.

You may also like to read...


5 Alternative Ideas for Up-cycling with Wallpaper

Rockett St George Own-Design Wallpaper Collection


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